John Fanning Watson collection on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania

These papers of a Philadelphia historian contain information on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania. Included are autograph letters, sketches, pictures of historic landmarks, drafts, portraits of eminent men, and newspaper clippings. The collection consists of 15 volumes h...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Watson, John Fanning 1779-1860 (Creator)
Collection:John Fanning Watson Collection On the Cultural, Social, and Economic Development of Pennsylvania
Collection Number:0697
Format: Manuscript
Language:English
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LEADER 08703ntc a2200733 u 4500
001 ead-0697
008 150504i xx eng d
040 |e dacs 
041 0 |a eng 
099 |a 0697 
100 1 |a Watson, John Fanning  |d 1779-1860  |e creator 
245 1 |a John Fanning Watson collection on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania  |f 1693-1855 
300 |a 1.5 Linear feet  |f 6 boxes 
506 |a The collection is open for research. 
520 |a These papers of a Philadelphia historian contain information on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania. Included are autograph letters, sketches, pictures of historic landmarks, drafts, portraits of eminent men, and newspaper clippings. The collection consists of 15 volumes housed in 6 boxes, in no particular order. Five of the volumes concentrate on Philadelphia. The “Annals of Philadelphia” was written in 1829 and is divided into two separate volumes. Two more volumes serve as supplemental sources to the annals. Whereas one of the supplements has been bound in a book, the other consists of papers divided into three folders within the volume. The last volume is the “Philadelphia Views,” a book that contains scenes from throughout the city and serves as another supplement to the annals. Other areas in Pennsylvania to where Watson had been were the cities of Tinicum and Graeme Parks, as well as the Philadelphia neighborhood of Germantown, which have been reflected in two additional volumes. Whereas the first two documented visits are being kept as separate items in a single volume, the latter provides a more detailed study of the area. He had also visited Chester, Valley Forge, Camp Hills, and Delaware and Chesapeake Canal, briefly detailed after Lucy Watson’s “Account of New Settlers in the American Woods,” all of which are written in a small, single volume. Another account included in the collection is “the first settlement of the Townships of Buckingham and Solebury in Bucks County,” which is a small volume of its own. Three of the volumes are miscellaneous tidbits of historical information. Dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, the first two concentrate more on Germantown and Roxborough while the third covers a wider variety of topics. The remaining three volumes seem to be more personal in comparison. Whereas the “Letters and Communications” were obviously written by his associates addressing to him, the other two were authored by Watson himself. “The Workings of Covetousness” appear to be personal reflections. Though the “French Exercises” were written purely for the purpose of practicing his foreign languages skills, a portion of the material did seem to make some sort of a reference to New Orleans, which could indicate a visit that he was recollecting. 
520 |a John Fanning Watson (1779-1860) was a businessman and treasurer by profession but a historian by hobby, for which he gained much greater attention. He kept vacation journals to help him escape the stifling environment of the banking world, and eventually was inspired to create the “Annals of Philadelphia.” The collection consists of his essays, letters, sketches, pictures, drafts, portraits, and newspaper clippings. These encompass his observations of Philadelphia as the city developed over the years, accounts of the places where he visited, historical notes on miscellaneous topics (especially Germantown and Roxborough), French exercises, personal reflections, and incoming correspondence. 
524 8 |a Cite as: [Indicate cited item or series here], John Fanning Watson collection on the cultural, social, and economic development of Pennsylvania (Collection 0697), The Historical Society of Pennsylvania. 
541 1 |a Some items presented by John F. Watson, and some purchased by the Library Fund. 
545 |a John Fanning Watson was born on June 13, 1779 in Burlington County, New Jersey to William and Lucy Fanning Watson. As a result of the events of the American Revolutionary War, the family moved to Chew’s Landing on Timber Creek, Gloucester County and eventually to the Northern Liberties of Philadelphia. Because his father was a captain and ship-owner, William made his living as a seafaring trader. His mother, Lucy, was a Methodist mystic and poet. The example that they set stimulated their son’s intellectual curiosity and sense of adventure, which contributed to his outgoing personality. Little is known of Watson’s formal education. He received training as a businessman under the wing of James Vanuxem, but fell out of favor due to conflicting political views. Watson later worked at a retail store and developed the ambition to start his own business. Instead, he ended up as a clerk under William Simmons, an accountant for the War Department in Washington. After Watson had distinguished himself in the profession, he earned the attention of General James O’Hara, who had been in need of an agent for his latest business venture at New Orleans. O'Hara hired Watson as a liaison but dismissed him for financial mishandlings. Watson later started a book and stationary business, opened two shops, and went into publishing. Around this time, he met his wife, Phebe Barron Crowell, with whom he had seven children, five of whom lived past infancy. Watson later served as cashier for the Bank of Germantown, but resigned to became a secretary-treasurer for the Philadelphia, Germantown, and Norristown Railroad. Watson found his responsibilities in these positions to be oppressive. Seeking fresh air, he and his family traveled through other regions of Pennsylvania. Watson cherished the scenery and kept journals to help him remember the experiences. Journal-writing led to his side-career as a historian, and he devoted much of his spare to this hobby thereafter. He died on December 23, 1860, at the age of 82. 
650 7 |a Canals--Chesapeake and Delaware  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Commerce--Philadelphia--19th century.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Estate administration--19th century.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.)--History.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Graeme Park, Pa.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Historians--19th century.  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Historians--Pennsylvania. 
650 7 |a Historical Society of Pennsylvania  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Historical Society of Pennsylvania--Founding members  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Historical Society of Pennsylvania--Researchers  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a History of Philadelphia.  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a History--Publishing. 
650 7 |a Hobbyists--Pennsylvania  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Indians--18th century.  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Indians--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Land Settlement--Pennsylvania--18th century.  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Land settlement--Pennsylvania. 
650 7 |a Maps--Pennsylvania  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Maps--Pennsylvania--Bucks County. 
650 7 |a Maps--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia County  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Mason-Dixon Line 
650 7 |a Pennsylvania Views  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Pennsylvania Views--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Pennsylvania--Description and travel--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Pennsylvania--History--1775-1865 
650 7 |a Pennsylvania--History--17th and 18th centuries  |2 Local sources 
650 0 |a Pennsylvania--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775. 
650 0 |a Pennsylvania--History. 
650 7 |a Pennsylvania--Travel and Description--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Philadelphia Views--18th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Philadelphia Views--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Philadelphia--Description and Travel--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Philadelphia--History  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Social Life and Customs--Pennsylvania--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Social Life and Customs--Philadelphia (Pa.)--19th century  |2 Local sources 
650 7 |a Tinicum, Pa  |2 Local sources 
651 0 |a Bucks County (Pa.) 
651 0 |a Pennsylvania--Commerce.  
651 0 |a Pennsylvania--Social life and customs. 
651 0 |a Philadelphia (Pa.) 
651 0 |a Philadelphia (Pa.)--Commerce. 
651 0 |a Philadelphia (Pa.)--Social life and customs--19th century.  
651 7 |a Roxborough (Philadelphia, Pa.).  |2 Local sources 
852 |a The Historical Society of Pennsylvania  |b John Fanning Watson Collection On the Cultural, Social, and Economic Development of Pennsylvania  |l 0697